The people of Warrington are being invited to join the Black History Month celebrations this month, through virtual events and activities.
Black History Month, held in October each year, celebrates the contributions made by the black community to life, history and culture in the UK.
While physical events cannot be held due to the current restrictions, the council, Culture Warrington and LiveWire have co-ordinated an online programme, to enable people to get involved from home.
Starting this week, Warrington Museum & Art Gallery is publishing a number of short articles on its website, using items from the collection to tell the stories of the black people and communities that made them.
LiveWire’s libraries will be joining the celebrations by sharing recommended reads that celebrate black stories. Lots of books of interest are available at the borough’s community libraries and you can check out a range of e-book and e-audio additions through LiveWire’s online service.
People can also learn more about Nat Bookbinder, through a short film, originally commissioned to mark VE Day and VJ Day. Nat was a Jewish Jazz Musician, who managed the Casino Club at Market Gate. The film, by Warrington production company Ludovico, tells the story of his fight against the demands of Warrington-based American soldiers to make the club a ‘whites-only’ venue, resulting in important questions being raised in Parliament.
Residents can also follow a series of virtual events hosted by Eventbrite which aim to inspire, educate and raise awareness of Black History Month, and the stories and voices of black people.
Warrington Borough Council’s Cabinet member for equalities, Cllr Hitesh Patel, said: “It is really important that we mark Black History Month, especially given the recent emphasis and raised profile of racism and black history in the media.
“Understanding and celebrating our history, diversity and communities is key to building a stronger, unified and respectful society. Black History Month gives us the opportunity to play our part in this by joining in with online events, locally and nationally.
“I’m also pleased to see that the council and our officers are taking action – during Black History Month and beyond. We are working with our young people to form a new BAME youth group, which is being led by our youth service, and we have also established a network of teachers across Warrington’s schools who are looking at the issue of race equality in our educational establishments.”
For more information about the National Black History Month celebrations, visit blackhistorymonth.org.uk